7th Oct 2019 - The BFI LFF 'The Aeronauts' Premiere

October 7th, 2019.

It’s a new week of BFI London Film Festival, and it didn’t really start all that well. I put my name on a list to get a wristband early in the morning, got back to Leicester Square half an hour before the ‘unofficial’ (aka arbitrary) handout time…. to find that not only had they handed out wristbands half an hour BEFORE that, but some girl barged in front of me while I was NEXT to security, and got the wristband I was going to get. And security apologetically said not to stress about the wristband number too much (I went from #10 to #76)…. TO HER.

Some days I almost forget that I’m actually somewhat privileged to be part of the process…. of having views of people blocked on a red carpet so I can make fun of it in a way that suggests it’s not a microcosm representing the arbitrary unfairness of life.

And yet, almost despite itself… it turned out rather well. Here’s how it went down:

Were given limited (meaning NO) real choice where to stand at this premiere, so I ended up in front of the Odeon Doorway - a considerable distance from dropoff and interviews. Still… I was among nice people, and our pen was isolated and only one-deep. These are not bad things.

Were given limited (meaning NO) real choice where to stand at this premiere, so I ended up in front of the Odeon Doorway - a considerable distance from dropoff and interviews. Still… I was among nice people, and our pen was isolated and only one-deep. These are not bad things.

Gotta say, in spite of the rain, this is a nice setup - literal balloons hanging from wires, LED displays, and even a giant balloon for guests (perchance even stars?) to lean against. If they can keep this notion for tomorrow’s premiere of…. erm…   “Knives Out”   it should be interesting to see how many people still blame Rian Johnson for directing a bad Star Wars movie.

Gotta say, in spite of the rain, this is a nice setup - literal balloons hanging from wires, LED displays, and even a giant balloon for guests (perchance even stars?) to lean against. If they can keep this notion for tomorrow’s premiere of…. erm… “Knives Out” it should be interesting to see how many people still blame Rian Johnson for directing a bad Star Wars movie.

“From up here in the skies you all look like tiny ants” ”Those ARE ants - we still have to get the carpet fumigated”

“From up here in the skies you all look like tiny ants”
”Those ARE ants - we still have to get the carpet fumigated”

The predicted rain was predictable at this premiere. The only - ONLY - positives coming from this were that (1) guests had less inclination to linger on the red carpet since it was dry inside the cinema, and (2) my gear is waterproof…. I hope.

The predicted rain was predictable at this premiere. The only - ONLY - positives coming from this were that (1) guests had less inclination to linger on the red carpet since it was dry inside the cinema, and (2) my gear is waterproof…. I hope.

One drawback of my distant position was that I couldn’t photograph The List of Attendees from anywhere in the media pen. So I was quite impressed that I was able to recognise Tom Courtenay as a random attendee… until I checked    imdb.com    and found out that he’s in the movie.

One drawback of my distant position was that I couldn’t photograph The List of Attendees from anywhere in the media pen. So I was quite impressed that I was able to recognise Tom Courtenay as a random attendee… until I checked imdb.com and found out that he’s in the movie.

“Of course, when you’ve been in    The Biz    for as long as I have, you kind of have to take it in stride when young up-and-comers like Felicity and Eddie fawn all over you, looking for career advice.”  Comment adapted / based on a true comment by    Carlos   .

“Of course, when you’ve been in The Biz for as long as I have, you kind of have to take it in stride when young up-and-comers like Felicity and Eddie fawn all over you, looking for career advice.”
Comment adapted / based on a true comment by Carlos.

“Oh, great. Now even OLDER people want a piece of me. Fine, Grandpa, use me give your journals some Youth appeal if you have to.”-  hey, thanks!! Lewin Lloyd actually has a role in the    Judy Garland biopic ‘Judy’    which had its premiere last week (about nine premieres ago!)

“Oh, great. Now even OLDER people want a piece of me. Fine, Grandpa, use me give your journals some Youth appeal if you have to.”- hey, thanks!! Lewin Lloyd actually has a role in the Judy Garland biopic ‘Judy’ which had its premiere last week (about nine premieres ago!)

Tom Harper isn’t yet another young actor from the cast… he’s the DIRECTOR- he’s been Bafta nominated, and was part of last year’s BFI London Film Festival : he directed the movie    ‘Wild Rose’

Tom Harper isn’t yet another young actor from the cast… he’s the DIRECTOR- he’s been Bafta nominated, and was part of last year’s BFI London Film Festival : he directed the movie ‘Wild Rose’

Well… this shouldn’t make it more difficult to photograph Felicity Jones AT ALL…

Well… this shouldn’t make it more difficult to photograph Felicity Jones AT ALL…

“It could never work between us - what with a sheet of cardboard separating us…..”  Felicity Jones is best known for being … I kind of forget the name of the lead character in Rogue One….. Jinn? I think? But she was also in (and nominated for both a Bafta and Oscar for)      “The Theory of Everything”      - which Eddie Redmayne also starred in (AND won the Bafta and Oscar for).

“It could never work between us - what with a sheet of cardboard separating us…..”
Felicity Jones is best known for being … I kind of forget the name of the lead character in Rogue One….. Jinn? I think? But she was also in (and nominated for both a Bafta and Oscar for) “The Theory of Everything” - which Eddie Redmayne also starred in (AND won the Bafta and Oscar for).

“Hello, sweet Slovenian grandma whose relative just woke them to say hi to them on skype!!”  Eddie Redmayne plays James Glaisher - real life meteorologist, astronomer and aeronaut (b1807-d1903). Felicity Jones character might as well be Jynn Erso, as she was entirely made up for the movie (I kid… apparently she’s loosely based on French balloonist Sophie Blanchard)

“Hello, sweet Slovenian grandma whose relative just woke them to say hi to them on skype!!”
Eddie Redmayne plays James Glaisher - real life meteorologist, astronomer and aeronaut (b1807-d1903). Felicity Jones character might as well be Jynn Erso, as she was entirely made up for the movie (I kid… apparently she’s loosely based on French balloonist Sophie Blanchard)

Once again my penchant for photographing scarves worn on red carpets serves me well : Todd Lieberman is a producer of this film.

Once again my penchant for photographing scarves worn on red carpets serves me well : Todd Lieberman is a producer of this film.

“We went to all the trouble of putting tiny animatronic aeronauts into these balloons, but nobody’s noticed!”

“We went to all the trouble of putting tiny animatronic aeronauts into these balloons, but nobody’s noticed!”

“You don’t have to mention that movie, you know….”  Well… let’s just say it’s not    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them    and    The Crimes of Grindelwald    on Eddie Redmayne’s imdb entry that has caught my eye again…

“You don’t have to mention that movie, you know….”
Well… let’s just say it’s not Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Crimes of Grindelwald on Eddie Redmayne’s imdb entry that has caught my eye again…

It would be remiss of me not to mention that Eddie Redmayne followed up his Oscar winning role as physicist Stephen Hawking with the insanity of ‘Jupiter Ascending’ where he was nominated and won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor. Which I think is unfair - the choices he made in that movie all worked in favour of making that movie more hilarious.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that Eddie Redmayne followed up his Oscar winning role as physicist Stephen Hawking with the insanity of ‘Jupiter Ascending’ where he was nominated and won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor. Which I think is unfair - the choices he made in that movie all worked in favour of making that movie more hilarious.

Although Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were interviewed near where I stood, it was with their backs facing the crowd. Fortunately, the fans near me all shouted out for them to turn around (perchance to come over and sign, as ours was a pen neither had signed for)

Although Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were interviewed near where I stood, it was with their backs facing the crowd. Fortunately, the fans near me all shouted out for them to turn around (perchance to come over and sign, as ours was a pen neither had signed for)

I feel like I should be allowed to go into the Odeon bar while this movie is screening and say to the bartender “Yeah… I’m with these two”, show this photo, and put my drink on their tab (…no?)

I feel like I should be allowed to go into the Odeon bar while this movie is screening and say to the bartender “Yeah… I’m with these two”, show this photo, and put my drink on their tab (…no?)

“You keep mentioning Jupiter Ascending… and I’ll do the same”  Felicity Jones and I appear to have made an alliance

“You keep mentioning Jupiter Ascending… and I’ll do the same”
Felicity Jones and I appear to have made an alliance

Sadly Felicity Jones is not heading to our pen to sign autographs, rather she has posing duties for a whole slew of VIP photographers who have chivalrously placed themselves in a dry spot under the Odeon’s entry overhang.

Sadly Felicity Jones is not heading to our pen to sign autographs, rather she has posing duties for a whole slew of VIP photographers who have chivalrously placed themselves in a dry spot under the Odeon’s entry overhang.

…… …….

…… …….

Do you know how long it’s been since my last three-starburst premiere journal photo? A LONG time.

Do you know how long it’s been since my last three-starburst premiere journal photo? A LONG time.

So.. that was that. Despite the rain and the wristbands…. it actually turned out alright. The lesson here? There is none : the same strategy that failed one day can succeed the next, and for no reason that had anything to do with anything I could control. Maybe it’s just that it’s best not to walk away when things look bad, and similar to the last time things looked bad.

Or maybe there’s no less. In any event…. it’s +1 for the archive, and I’ve deactivated Facebook for the remainder of BFI LFF so I have no idea if you can follow me right now. Still… twitter exists, and so does instagram. Which is something.

Until next time!